Spa selections 2020: Saratoga picks August 29
Ginger N Rye won the 2017 Smart N Fancy Stakes at Saratoga. Photo by Chelsea Durand/NYRA.
by Joseph Aiello
In Spa Selections, Saratoga on-site correspondent Joseph Aiello provides Saratoga picks for a handful of key races at Saratoga, including all of the exciting stakes action!
Race 3 – Grade III Saranac Stakes
1. #5 Don Juan Kitten (4-1) – Takes a step up in class but has been running as well as anyone here, timing will be key for this colt
2. #1 Vanzzy (7-2) – If the turf is soft, take L’Imperator, but this colt will have good stalking position and should run well here
3. #9 Embolden (8-1) – Has never finished out of the money and seemed to adjust well to the mile last time out, plus should be good value with Jose Ortiz
Race 6 – Mdn 72k
1. #1 Newbomb (3-1) – Irad and Pletcher duo have won at a thirty-three percent clip together this meet, and have a promising colt here who should run well
2. #4 Highly Motivated (7-2) – Klaravich and Brown seemingly win everything together, and this colt by Into Mischief may not be an exception to that rule
3. #10 Happymac (5-2) – The other Chad Brown trainee looks incredibly formidable, but this two year old by Runhappy had a price tag of 800k
Race 7 – Grade II Amsterdam Stakes
1. #1 Basin (7-2) – Should be sitting off the leaders plus was clearly distance limited so a return to shorter will help this colt improve at Saratoga where he is two for two
2. #2 Yaupon (8-5) – This Asmussen trainee is probably best suited sitting off of Long Weekend and others who may go too fast, and is the most logical here with the right trip
3. #5 Wonderwherecraigis (10-1) – Showed speed last time out in the slop, and if the track is wet may be a decent bet along with Liam’s Pride, but can also close if necessary
Race 8 – Grade I Forego Stakes
1. #11 Fortin Hill (6-1) – Takes a big step up in class, but certainly has the speed to compete here and has a win on a sloppy track under his belt in the case of rain
2. #8 Firenze Fire (8-1) – If the track is wet, Complexity, Lexitonian, Mind Control and True Timber may be better plays in that order, but this horse still has enough talent to run well here
3. #2 Whitmore (7-2) – The most consistent here and runs amongst the best in his class even at seven, so can’t be ignored to at least come in the money in a brutally tough field
Race 9 – Grade I Sword Dancer Stakes
1. #2 Aquaphobia (4-1) – Distance stretch last time proved to be beneficial for this horse who has as good a chance as anyone to win here in a wide-open field
2. #5 Corelli (6-1) – Along with Pedro Cara this gelding has done most of his racing outside of North America, but ran well last time in the Grade I United Nation at Monmouth
3. #8 Sadler’s Joy (5-2) – Could play Pedro Cara or Cross Border, but this seven year old looks for revenge after being disqualified from first last time in the Bowling Green
Race 10 – Mdn 72k
1. #7 O’Gotten Girl (4-1) – Goes turf to dirt after a solid third place debut, giving this filly a leg up on her competition most of whom haven’t started
2. #5 Zainalarab (7-2) – First time starter filly by War Front will be battling with the other Chad Brown first timer among others in this tough field
3. #3 Jouster (4-1) – Another first time starter two year old for Todd Pletcher, this filly should be up to the task of taking on the others here
John Piassek handicaps Thursday’s 8-race card at Laurel Park!
We’ve got Parx Racing picks today as the track presents a 10-race Tuesday card.
Full-card picks and analysis for the day’s Laurel Park card.